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Holy Trinity/St. Augustine

About Our Parishes

Holy Trinity
The Church of the Holy Trinity was incorporated by Bishop John Ireland in November 1917. However, it was not until June of 1940 that the first resident pastor, Father J. F. Siegienski, was assigned. Holy Trinity was initially a Polish parish and the Sacrament of Reconciliation was given in Polish. The first mass was held on June 30, 1940. The church building and the rectory were built by 1942 and the church was blessed by Archbishop John Murray in 1942.

Monsignor Vincent Worzalla was named pastor in 1951 and the new convent and school were constructed in 1954. The convent housed the Felician Sisters from Chicago, who staffed the school until 1978. Lay teachers have staffed the school since then. In 1985, Presentation Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary joined the parish staff and remained until 2000. The convent (now known as the Parish Center) has been remodeled and now provides office space for the school and parish. In 1991, Holy Trinity Church celebrated its 50th Jubilee.

St. Augustine
St. Augustine parish was incorporated on June 11, 1896. Fr. Joseph T. Busch was sent to South St. Paul to organize this new parish and serve as its first pastor. Fr. Busch oversaw the building of the church, organized the parish and even formulated a plan for tithing. The new church was of wooden frame construction and the contract price of building was $2,250, “exclusive of the heating plant and stained glass.” On August 30, 1896, Archbishop Ireland dedicated the new church which stood on the southeast corner of Fourth Avenue and Grand Avenue , where Greystone Apartment building now stands.

After being remodeled, expanded and reinforced with brick, the parish met with great tragedy. On March 31, 1923, St. Augustine Church burned to the ground. It was Holy Saturday, so Easter Masses were held at the Ideal Theater at 8:00am and 10:00am that year. Doing their best to replicate structures of the old church wherever possible, builders were able to construct the current church structure for a Christmas Day 1924 opening.

Our Priests

Father John Echert
Pastor

I am a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis. I was ordained in 1987, and first served as an associate pastor at St. Rose of Lima parish in Roseville, after which I was assigned to the faculty of The St. Paul Seminary. I accomplished my graduate studies in Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome and the Ecole Biblique, Jerusalem.

I was assigned as pastor of the Churches of Holy Trinity and St. Augustine, South Saint Paul, in April of 2005. I write a monthly column for "The Catholic Servant" and post daily responses to biblical question on the Eternal Word Television Network web-site (EWTN.com). I also serve as a Military Chaplain in the Minnesota Air National Guard.